Saturday, February 05, 2005

Winner Take All

The state of Ohio, its government controlled by a particularly corrupt crowd of Repugs, has decided to continue "starving the beast" by doing away with a last-ditch health care program for the poorest of the poor. SHAME.

The state is ending a program that paid for medicines and treatment for homeless and extremely poor Ohioans with chronic health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes or mental illness.

Disability Medical Assistance is a $73 million state effort designed to bridge the gap while people await approval for Medicaid, Social Security or other benefits. Income guidelines mean a single person would have to earn less than $115 a month to qualify.

Gov. Bob Taft warned agencies he'll be cutting many services in the two-year state budget plan he releases Thursday. State lawmakers have until the end of June to pass a budget that fills an anticipated deficit of up to $5 billion.

Other cuts could include stricter eligibility requirements for adults to qualify for Medicaid, lower Medicaid payments to nursing homes and less money for pollution enforcement, industry and agency leaders have said.

We have plenty of rich people in this state who the money should be beaten out of, but instead a program that only people who earn $115 a month or less is cut. And no doubt all the Repugs will march to church tomorrow and feel pleased with themselves, waiting for the Rapture. Well, friends, if there is a last day, I think we can be assured that Christ will turn his backs on these foul bastards with a quiet, I do not know you.

"I'm absolutely panic-stricken," said Judith Austin, 55, of Columbus, whose two heart surgeries were covered by disability assistance at a cost of $372,000. "I have no medical care again. I have no clue what I'm going to do. This could cost me my life."

Taft spokesman Mark Rickel said the state can no longer afford the aid.

We can afford welfare for corporations, but not a dime for the poorest of the poor. SHAME.


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